Subaru repeats history by releasing a Special Edition Crosstrek for the 2016 model year

The Subaru XV Crosstrek is essentially a raised and slightly bubbled version of the Subaru Impreza five-door hatchback. It initially debuted in 2011 at the Frankfurt Motor Show as the Subaru XV concept. Shortly after that, Subaru moved the XV concept into production. We didn’t see the XV Crosstrek in production form here in the U.S. until Subaru came to the New York Auto Show in 2012. The model quickly went on sale for the 2013 model year and has since become Subaru’s third-best selling model.

To celebrate the success of the Crosstrek, Subaru released the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Special Edition last year. It had minor modifications here and there to differentiate it from the rest of the pack and was limited to just 1,000 units. Now, just a few days before the Chicago Auto Show kicks off, Subaru has announced that it will be bringing another special edition version of the Crosstrek to the windy city.

The 2016 Subaru XV Crosstrek Special Edition will be limited to 1,500 examples, and like last year’s special edition model, it will be based on the 2.0i Premium. Once the special edition officially debuts, expect to see it hit showrooms at the end of this spring. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, though, we’ve only got a few days before we see the Special Edition Crosstrek in the metal, so let’s dive on in and preview what we’ll be seeing in Chicago.

Updated 02/12/2016: We added a series of new images (and one video) of the new Crosstrek Special Edition taken during its official unveiling at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Check them out in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition.

What makes the Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition special

As I mentioned previously, the Special Edition Crosstrek is based on the 2.0i Premium trim, which means it comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive, 17-inch alloy wheels, and the standard 8.7 inches ground clearance. The Special Edition is painted in Pure Red and featured paint-matched folding mirrors that have integrated turn signals. There are no other changes or special additions to the exterior, so let’s move on to the inside.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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This year the theme of the special edition is red, as Subaru used red stitching on the leather-wrapped shifter, steering wheel, and the door panels. The dash trim also has a red inlay with red mood lighting underneath. The lights below the climate control panel have also been replaced with red lights – offering a soft-red ambiance to the floorboards and center console. That is the extent of the styling unique to this special edition model, but Subaru did go as far as to equip the model with the all-weather package. That means the Special Edition Crosstrek has heated front seats, windshield wiper deicers, and heated exterior mirrors.

Other standard features include a power moonroof, keyless entry with push-button start, and a color LCD inside the instrument panel. Standard safety features include blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, a backup camera, and lane change assist. For infotainment, Subaru equipped the SE Crosstrek with the Subaru Starlink 6.2-inch multimedia system. This system includes Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, auxiliary input jack, USB Port, iPod control, and audio streaming. When integrated with a smartphone, the can connect with Aha and Pandora. Subaru’s Starlink Cloud Applications Stitcher brings iHeart Radio, SiriusXM, a standard music player, news app, and a calendar to the mix.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Under the hood, you’ll find Subaru’s 2.0-liter Boxer engine with a total output of 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. That power is routed to all four wheels via Subaru’s CVT transmission. There are no upgrades to speak of here, but the transmission does offer a six-speed manual mode that allows the driver to use paddle shifters.

Basically, when you break it all down, what you have here is a standard XV Crosstrek 2.0 Premium with an exclusive finish on the outside and some minor accenting on the inside. Outside of that, everything else included in the special edition is available on one trim or another throughout the Crosstrek lineup. Personally, I would have expected Subaru to up the ante a little more with the special edition this year, you know, make it a little more special. But, not everything is meant to amaze. I just hope Subaru doesn’t try to sell the special edition at too much of a premium. Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Subaru Crosstrek

2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek - Driven
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Read our full review on the Subaru Crosstrek here.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Subaru of America, Inc. today announced the introduction of the 2016 Crosstrek Special Edition. The Special Edition, in Pure Red, will be a limited production of 1,500 and will debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.

The versatile, fun-to-drive Crosstrek combines bold five-door design, a highly capable chassis and in-demand multimedia features. Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, high ground clearance (8.7 inches), 17-inch alloy wheels and ample room for passengers and cargo make the Subaru Crosstrek a high-capability crossover. It is one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover utility vehicles in America, delivering 34-mpg EPA-estimated highway fuel economy. The Crosstrek small SUV has been a strong seller since its introduction in 2012 and is now Subaru’s third best selling model.

Based on the 2.0i Premium, the Special Edition features Subaru “Pure Red” exterior color and matching foldable mirrors with integrated turn signals. Red stitching accents the leather-wrapped shift lever handle, steering wheel and door panels. Unique to this model is interior dash trim with a red inlay. Also, interior lighting casts a soft red glow onto the front floor area and storage space below the climate control. The SE Crosstrek will begin arriving into retailers in late spring 2016.

The Special Edition includes the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer), Power Moonroof, Instrument Panel with color LCD, Keyless Access with Push-Button Start, and Blind Spot Detection / Rear Cross Traffic Alert System (which includes Lane Change Assist). The SUBARU STARLINK 6.2” multimedia system with a 6.2-in. single-touch gesture display comes standard on the Special Edition. The system includes AM/FM stereo with HD Radio®, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc CD player, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. Smartphone integration features Aha™ and Pandora®, along with new SUBARU STARLINK Cloud Applications Stitcher™, Calendar, Music Player, News, Weather and iHeart® Radio. SiriusXM® All Access Radio is available for a four month free trial starting at delivery and can continue with a paid monthly subscription. The 6.2-in. screen also displays the rear vision camera view to provide an additional level of convenience and safety.

The 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER engine uses aluminum cylinder heads and block and produces 148 hp at 6,200 rpm and 145 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,200 rpm. The long-stroke configuration (84 mm bore and 90 mm stroke) enhances torque across the engine speed range. A dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) configuration features Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS) for both intake and exhaust valves for optimizing torque delivery.

Available exclusively with Subaru’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the Special Edition continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand by keeping the engine in its most efficient operating range. A 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters allows the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios.

Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) combines stability and traction control functions and integrates a rollover sensor. The traction control functions as a second line of defense against wheel slip by augmenting the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive functionality.

A 103.7-in wheelbase yields impressive interior roominess in the Subaru Crosstrek, including 35.4 inches of rear seat legroom. With the standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks folded, this versatile five-door crossover provides a flat load floor and up to 51.9 cubic feet of carrying space.

In 2015, Subaru achieved seven consecutive years of record sales and exceeded 580,000 annual sales – a first in company history. January marked the 23rd consecutive month of 40,000+ vehicle sales for the company. Crosstrek, along with Forester and Legacy, achieved its best January ever.

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